Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   24 July

Judges’ activeness proves their independence becomes reality – President of Supreme Judicial Council

YEREVAN, JULY 17, ARMENPRESS. Any judge may be subject to disciplinary proceedings if he/she fails to fulfill duties or violated the norm of material or judicial law, or his/her powers can be suspended in case of existence of respective grounds, Gagik Harutyunyan – President of the Supreme Judicial Council, said in an interview to ARMENPRESS, commenting on the complaints of judges regarding the recent decisions of the Supreme Judicial Council, as well as the issues of the field.

-Mr. Harutyunyan, there were some media reports on the complaints of judges over the recent decisions adopted by the Supreme Judicial Council. How do you react to them?

-My answer can make you less confused, but I assess it positively and think that such activeness of the judges already proves that their independence becomes a reality. Previously, various manifestations of the independence of judges were ending in disciplinary proceedings.

The fact that attention is paid on some problematic provisions of the Judicial Code constitutional law is also welcomed: we are discussing these provisions, and already there are some proposals for their change.

I think the complaints are mainly linked with the changes envisaged by the Judicial Code that are being carried out in these 3-4 months. In particular, previously the appointments of presidents of courts were being made by nominating one candidate as agreed upon. But now the picture is different. Over the past three months nearly 300 people have been discussed and voted as a candidate for different appointments in the Supreme Judicial Council. Less than 30 candidates have been nominated for election or appointment. In cases of 270 people, the voting participants, who didn’t receive the votes of the 6 and more members of the Supreme Judicial Council, maybe were dissatisfied. I also try to understand them, but the reformed electoral procedure is linked with the exercise of requirements of the articles of the Constitution and the Judicial Code, and these large-scale works should have been conducted within a very short period of time.

-During your meetings with different courts the issue of fighting corruption in the judicial system is being touched upon very frequently. Whether after the revolution the urgency of this issue is being maintained?

-The examination of thousands of letters that we receive from various citizens can gave the answer to your question. A substantive assessment of the overall situation has also been carried out. I cannot release concrete information as I don’t have that right at the moment, but I want to state that the issue is still concerning, and the ongoing reforms also aim at overcoming that phenomenon.

Full version of the interview is available in Armenian.

Edited and translated by Aneta Harutyunyan

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